Thoughts for the month

Clive ToddA Letter from the Rectory

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February 2018

New Beginnings in Ministry for the Laity

Exciting times lie ahead for us all as we begin to consider the future of our joint lives together as Christians in the Benefice of the Lower Swale. With huge changes about to occur in relation to changing patterns of ministry especially with recent Clerical resignations and retirements, the time is now right for the Benefice to begin to explore how it can flourish and grow in the years which lie ahead. So, this is what is arranged to begin the process of learning, and growing as Disciples of Jesus.

Lent Studies will begin on Monday 19th February which will be spending three weeks looking at the Report Setting God’s People Free and then three weeks looking at the report Serving Together, both of these reports have been produced by national working parties as part of the Church of England’s Renewal and Reform programme.

These studies will help us to explore how best we can seek as a Benefice to respond to the challenges now before us as we move into a new and dynamic approach to shared ministry. Scruton will hold a course at 2pm and another will be held at the Rectory at 7.30pm.  So that as many people as possible can be accommodated, please do let me or Ann know if you are intending to come so that we can ensure the venues chosen will be large enough for expected numbers, we may well have to hold the meetings in the churches if numbers are exceptionally high.

The Mission and Ministry Forum will convene again on Tuesday 20th February.  Again this will be for any church member to attend and we shall be looking at the direct implications of Diocesan Policy on the Benefice alongside being the group which will seek to engage with future mission and ministry and have the responsibility for putting together a strategic plan for implementing the outcomes from the Lent Studies.


Saturday 24th February 9.30am till 4pm a full day looking at the implications of our new deanery plan and how best we can as a deanery respond to the challenges and opportunities before us. THIS IS A VITALLY IMPORTANT DAY TOGETHER. Every member of the churches should make this day a priority in order that we can all participate and understand the way we are moving forward as the people of God in this place. So please do put the date in your diaries and let me or Ann know asap whether you intend to come. The venue will be the village hall in Newton-Le-Willows.

So, let us all together joyfully engage in all that God is asking of us at this challenging time.

With my prayers and best wishes,    Clive